MacFarlane, Peggy

Obituary

MACFARLANE, Dolores (Peggy)
January 3, 1926 – April 19, 2014

A life well-lived came to a close with the passing of Dolores MacFarlane on Saturday, April 19, 2014.

She was born in Edmonton on January 3, 1926 to Mary Margaret Ferguson and Harold Dewey Kimball, and was raised with the loving presence of her Grandmother Ferguson. After completing her degree at the University of Alberta, Dolores’ life-long love of words, both written and spoken, led to a career in journalism – in print, radio and television. She started her professional work by writing a column for the Edmonton Bulletin. While there, she met and married Charlie MacFarlane. To this union was born a son, David.

Dolores’s lengthy career with the CBC began in the 1950s in Winnipeg, a time when women in broadcasting were a rarity. She returned to Edmonton in 1958. She held many roles, producing interviews, documentaries, news and current affairs programmes and specials locally and for the full network. Assignments took her to many parts of the world including South America, Europe and into the far North. A move into management took her to Regina, as Director of Radio and Television for the province of Saskatchewan. While in Saskatchewan, she played a key role in establishing the school of Journalism at the University of Regina. Returning once again to Edmonton, she took on the task of helping re-develop local news shows across the country, in addition to sharing senior management responsibilities. She continued to be a mentor to young people hoping to build careers as producers, writers and directors, often billeting them in her own home. As a pioneering and very successful broadcaster, she inspired and directly helped many women to establish careers in a highly competitive world, which for many years did not welcome women in senior roles.

Dolores was a passionate supporter of social justice and responsibility, which permeated her work and personal life. A keen interest in arts and community led to positions on the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Edmonton Art Gallery board, as well as involvement in community housing and support for those in need.

Dolores’s fascinating friendships were formed from every walk of life, regardless of age, social position or political persuasion. She was a wonderful story teller and delighted in keeping a room in laughter by regaling her listeners with stories of her many adventures. Her family fondly remembers her institution of the Christmas grab-bag tradition, one that continues to this day. Her later years were spent with the watchful assistance of her devoted son David. Missing her will be her son David MacFarlane, her brother Norm Kimball and his wife Lois, nephews Doug Kimball and Brian Kimball, and a host of friends. She was predeceased by her nephew Rob Kimball.

A celebration of her life will be held at the Woodvale Community Facility (Mill Woods Golf Course) 4540 – 50 Street, Edmonton, AB, T6B 6B6 on May 19th, at 1:00 PM. Car-pooling is advised, as parking is limited. RSVP to dmacf@telus.net or 780-434-8616. Friends are invited to join the family and share your memories of Dolores with all.

Published in The Edmonton Journal on May 9, 2014

My fond memories of Delores as a former colleague are numerous. She was respected by her those who knew her in her many journalistic and management roles. Her smile and sense of humour leave a lasting legacy. My condolences to David as well as the Kimball family.

Greg Barnes, Coquitlam, British Columbia

Dolores was my mentor. I was one of her “chicks”, she was the mother hen. I owe her my career at CBC Radio. She was a pioneer in Canadian broadcasting , whip-smart and wickedly funny. Her insight was brilliant and her stories the best. She took a chance on me as freelancer in Edmonton, and then, ripped my writing apart. If only all young broadcasters could have a Delores in their lives. My condolences to David and her family.

Lorna Jackson, Toronto, Ontario